Tag Archives: 312 To Do

Living Like We’re Renegades

renegade chicago fall 2016

Short weeks feel especially long after you’ve been on vacation the previous two. I’m welcoming this Friday with open arms. This week was pretty awesome, though. I met Taraji Henson at the Michigan Ave MAC store this week when she launched her collection.  There was also the RHONY reunion and I updated my DVR for all of the upcoming fall shows. Yes, my name is Laurie and I watch a lot of TV. Here are a few other things worth noting from this week!


Indie craft expo Renegade descends on Division Street in Wicker Park this weekend.   Be there! Ya know, if you’re local and can.


I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually looking forward to Monday. If only because the Supers are coming!


My diet has been so wonky with vacation, summer laziness and just general bad habits. Diving head first into the goop roundup of breakfast bowl recipes.


Don’t ‘save’ happiness for when things are easier and calmer (because they might never be)…this advice and a pretty kickass list of ways to feel happier and calmer when you only have 10 minutes.


This before and after of Stella’s brows after a YEAR of growing them out is inspiration.

Have a great weekend!

Seize the (Leap) Day

field museum chicago

“I’m so excited to get an extra day of February,” said no resident of Chicago, ever (especially when that extra day is a Monday). It’s all too real for me after a week in Florida. Vacations always feel like sprints. Add in leap year to your reentry and the longest short month feels like a true marathon. It may be slow going, but I know we’ll eventually cross the finish line.

I’m prepping for the race this week with P&G Beauty. They’ve sent me a special care package made for marathon days (/leap months!) that I want to share it with you all (more on that below).

P&G beauty

Like it or not, Leap Year 2K16 is a go so, how about we like it? Novel concept, but I say we do something that we’ve been saving for a rainy day. Since Leap Day is a Monday, let’s say that “rainy day” is any day the rest of the month. You choose! How many times have you said you’d be a tourist in your own city? Go check out that new exhibit? Try that fried chicken Bloody Mary you read about. Whatever your “to do…someday” item is, I think a leap year is permission to finally cross it off the list.

So, here’s what I’m thinking.

olay body wash

Start the day with a shower. Obvs. Suds up with the new Olay Fresh Outlast Energizing Lime & White Tea Body Wash. It’s the latest addition to the Outlast collection – very fresh and citrusy and lingers on your skin throughout the day. Olay body washes are also really awesome in the winter because they don’t dry out your skin.  I won’t need to wash my hair because that’s not a daily thing for me however, on wash days I’ve been testing out the upgraded Pantene conditioners that allow you to take your hair past “the cutting point.” Think of this as a smart conditioner, targeting weak spots to repair and prevent damage sooner.  You can actually use the conditioner root-to-tip and it won’t weigh your hair down. This was an adjustment for me because I was taught very early to wash my hair and condition my ends. I’ve been trying the Sheer Volume variation and it keeps things smooth and shiny for the long stretches of time I go between washes.

chicago field museum

Next up: a day at the Museum. I am so guilty of never taking advantage of all of Chicago’s many cultural spots. Lucky for all of us in the Chicago area, February is filled with free days. The Field Museum – home to Sue! – is free the entire month. The Art Institute is always worth the price of admission, but it is also free Thursday evenings. I totally want to check out the new Van Gogh bedroom paintings. And, if you are actually making the most of February 29, the Adler Planetarium and Museum of Science and Industry are both free that day.

secret xtend

Say, you decide to really push the limits of your extra day and forget to reapply deodorant. Then you may be curious about the new Secret Outlast Xtend that continuously keeps you dry for 48 hours. Hoping some of you willing to try it out will let me know if that lives up.

I’m giving away 10 of every P&G product mentioned in this post. Leave a comment and 10 of you will get a special treat in the mail.* I’d love to hear about your leap day aspirations. Also, have you tried any of these products? Anything you love about them or you’re most interested in?

Oh, and aren’t you curious about the friend chicken Bloody Mary? It’s at Buck’s in Wicker Park and I just want to eat there for brunch every weekend.  That needs to be part of February, March, April…etc.

*P&G Beauty will fulfill the prizes. If you’ve previously won a P&G prize, rest assured, it should be arriving soon.

P&G Beauty sponsored this post. All thoughts and opinions my own – thanks for your continued support of 312 Beauty!

312 To Do: A Night for Green Beauty

A Night for Green Beauty Chicago

Pssst….Chicago friends: What are you doing on August 6?

I hope the answer to that question is coming to the West Loop between 6-10 p.m. Tomorrow is going to be major. I’m fully anticipating smiling for eight hours straight and getting a little weepy at times. You see, it’s nearly time for A Night for Green Beauty — the best (and only!) eco-beauty event that happens every summer. This is the third and (cue tears) final year. Previous summers, I trekked to New York and LA but this year it is in Chicago! At the awesome Venue One in the West Loop.

I can’t think of a better way to cap off this event that has introduced me to so many amazing women than in CHICAGO. This community is so special. Girl power on speed. The event itself is the brilliant brainchild of Chicago ladies Victoria Fantauzzi and Karen King of La Bella Figura and it’s evolved into one heck of a shindig. There’s face time and personal interaction with the founders of brands – May Lindstrom of May Lindstrom, Adina Grigore of S.W. Basics, Suzanne Leroux of One Love Organics – and some 30+ more. Everyone is releasing new beauty and sampling their wares. This year, there is even a runway show and (gasp) I’m modeling in it for BeauTeaBar. The only other time I’ve “modeled” is in a Walmart fashion show in 1988….in a bathing suit. Yes, a Walmart fashion show. Just a small town girl…

I hope you can make it. I’m going to be recapping some of the highlights for you after the event and showing you ALL of the beauty goods. Because there’s just too much to fit into one blog post.

See you tomorrow?

312 To Do: Me, Michelle + Madewell on March 18

312 Beauty Madewell Chicago

This week, I’ve heard birds chirping, wore sunglasses in the 6pm hour and exposed a few limbs. I also ate pizza for approximately five meals in a row, but that’s beside the point. (But aren’t you curious if that means breakfast, too?!) Spring is so on. Are you ready to get down with it as much as I am?Madewell Michelle Starbuck

If so, come join me and local jewelry boss Michelle Starbuck for a special event at Madewell on Rush Street on March 18 from 6-8 p.m. It’s going to be spring on spring on spring with a side of spring. I’ll be styling Madewell’s new wares (so.many.great.tees!!) with Michelle’s spring collection. There will be a special discount, something fizzy to drink, sweets to eat and smiles from me. Drop me a comment or tweet if you can come.

Hope to see you there!

312 To Do: Ride With Kiehl’s Aug. 4


I’m hitting the road again next week for a five day, two city trip. I’m starting my week in Minneapolis for work and then making my way west for A Night for Green Beauty.  I’ll just be missing the Kiehl’s LifeRide stop in Chicago which is a bit of a bummer. Every summer, Kiehl’s President and resident badass Chris Salgardo leads celebs and cause supporters on a (motor!) bike ride around the U.S. to help benefit AIDS research. The Kiehl’s crew will be at the Michigan Ave store at 12 noon where Jay from Chicago PD (IRL name = Jesse Lee Soffer) will be hosting a Bikes & BBQ bash. There will be Lillie’s Q, a bunch of other really attractive actors on motorcycles and a 15% off discount in store. Of note is the special jumbo-sized tube of the Ultimate Hand Strength Salve that 100% of sales benefit AIDS research and Kiehl’s newest face wash that’s been rocking my world (/face) for the past month. The Calendula Deep Cleansing Wash is extra foamy, soap-free, super gentle and a partner in crime to Kiehl’s Calendula Toner which has been around since the 1960s! A single pump massaged into a slightly damp face for a minute before rinsing breaks down makeup with little effort. Kiehl’s does not skimp on quantity – this bottle is mega. Just the way I like it.

312 To Do: POPSUGAR + Simple at Millennium Park


Yesterday was so insanely perfect in Chicago, I just wanted to hug the city. I honestly appreciated every second of my day, even the parts that usually test my patience. Pretty sure I’ve never been so happy riding the bus and waiting for the train. I think I even smiled at strangers unprompted. Life is good! There’s more of this in store this weekend and I can’t think of a better way to soak it up than spending a few hours in Millennium Park. Bean selfie, anyone?

Simple® Skincare and POPSUGAR are coming to Chicago for the “Passport to Healthy Skin” event. Think detox station, fitness zone, relaxation room and a Simple Skin-filled beauty oasis set up with the city skyline as a backdrop. Simple will be giving away totes and samples and I hear POPSUGAR will be giving away 150 of their Must Have boxes, which would be the ultimate score. Fellow city-goers interested in some beat time can RSVP here. I’ll be there in my yoga duds!

312 To Do: Ann Taylor + Marie Claire


Are you a business lady or a business, lady?! Either way, there’s a great event taking place for you at Ann Taylor on Michigan Ave tomorrow evening, February 27, from 6-8pm. Marie Claire editors and career expert Farnoosh Torabi will be hosting a discussion on how to own your career path. Trish McEvoy’s team will be on hand to do makeup touch-ups and there will also be a professional photographer ready to capture your new LinkedIn profile pic. If you’re able to make it, send a quick RSVP to eventsmc@hearst.com. And, while you’re there check out this bag. Ann Taylor’s work totes are always the best!

Finding the Perfect Red


I’m over on The Garmenteur this week talking about red lips. Can we all agree that a killer red is a must in your lipstick wardrobe? I think the hardest part of wearing a red lip is finding the right shade. So many different options but not all are universally flattering. (except for this one – I’m convinced it may be everyone’s power red!)  I tend to get lost in the process of determining skin undertones by checking out the color of your veins. Rather than running all sorts of diagnostics on yourself to figure out if you’re warm or cool or pink or yellow, take a look in your closet.  That’s exactly the concept behind the Jouer Perfect Red collection.  Two simple questions: what colors dominate your wardrobe and what color is your hair? According to this, my perfect shade is Sophia, a creamy rose red. This is so my type of red! What’s yours?

For my 312 ladies, Jouer Founder Christina Zilber will be at the downtown Nordstrom helping you find your perfect red. Remember when she admitted right here on this blog  that she’s always been “red-lip shy”? CZ has got our back! If you happen to swing by Nordstrom, make sure to stop by and say hi to team Jouer. Trend show is going on, so the madness starts bright and early at 7am.

butter LONDON Launches Makeup Collection


Rockover is the new makeover, according to butter LONDON. We know them for their always on-trend nail polish shades and for expanding our vocabulary with cheeky British slang, and now the brand is making waves with its first full-blown makeup collection. The Bespoke Colour Collection is outside the box in the best way. Think lime green nails for fall with eyeliner and mascara to match. But don’t fret. The seemingly wild colors are also balanced with rich blues and deep browns and the perfect sheer lip neutral colors that go with everything.

I chatted with butter LONDON’s Global Colour Ambassador Katie Hughes this week while she wraps up the ‘Rock Over’ tour that’s stopped at dozens of Ulta stores across the country. It’s fitting that Chicago is her final stop, as she has family here and loves to visit as much as she can. Note: she once went to Hot Doug’s three consecutive days. This Brit loves her some Chi-town!


Your title of Global Colour Ambassador just got even broader. There’s SO MUCH color in this collection! 

Butter London is known for best nail lacquer colors and we wanted to create a makeup collection that spoke to that and was also on trend. All of these colors are going backstage with me this [Fashion Week] season.  I think that people are just starting to experiment with color. Think even a few years ago – going into the board room at work, colored nail polish was frowned upon. Now it’s everywhere. Glitter, bright colors, white nails.  You can be more adventurous with your eyes.  People are embracing blues and purples. I think they are the new neutrals.

What are some of your favorite Bespoke looks?

The pencil in the green story – Jaded Jack – is one of one of my favorites and looks amazing in the tear duct area. Everything in the line has a multiple use. All of the mascaras can be used in the hair and brows. Try the brown mascara on the brows. Just take the entire product off with a tissue and skim it over the brows without touching the skin. I use the CHEEKY on the lips, LIPPY balm on the cheeks and the Pistol Pink WINK eye pencil on the lips. Alabaster Gaze Cream Shadow works as a highlighter. Even the mascaras double as eyeliners. Apply the Union Jack Black pencil and let it be lived in for a moment and then take a really thin eyeliner brush and layer the mascara over it. I wore the pink the other day and got so many compliments. When people look at you when you wear color, they do a double take. It’s not crazy nuts just a hint. I like to be understated, use one color at a time.

What do you mean by ‘lived in’?

My personal makeup style on set is makeup that looks like its effortless. Creased shadow doesn’t bother me. It looks lived in and that’s what I want to see. I want character not retouched makeup. If you get your base right and pick the right foundation that’s buffed and beautiful, whatever goes for the rest of the face. I work with smudges and purposefully smush my mascara into the bottom lash because I like that slightly edgy look.


The WINK cream shadows are softer colors – I’m especially loving that gold!  How do you like to use these?

They are designed to be a wash of color. If you want to build, layer them together rather than putting on more. The cream shadow and liner are like best friends – they work even better together. Apply a dab of the cream shadow to the lid and take the liner across the lashline and blend right away with your ring finger. I always go back in at the lash to get more depth with the pencil.

Last year, during the Erdem show at London Fashion Week, I did the nails with a color called Hen Party which looks like organza and NARS did really neutral makeup with a matte saturation of lilac in the inner corners. That pop of purple looked so gorgeous and I’ve been using these that way. Be very slapdash about it. Go back to basics and don’t think so hard.


Can we expect more makeup from butter LONDON?

Yes, we’re going to grow and grow. We’re always going to be a nail care and color brand but we’ll now launch makeup with our lacquers. Big colors with themes and we’ll start growing into collections that are, for example, 12 shades of the same product so we’re building our portfolio.

Chicago ladies, don’t miss the opp to meet Katie yourself and get a “Rock Over!” She’ll be introducing the Bespoke Colour Cosmetics at two ULTA stores today. From 11-2 p.m. at the State Street location in the Loop and from 3-6 p.m. at the 2754 North Clybourn ULTA location.

312 To Do: H2O Plus Warehouse Sale


Mega-deal alert for the Chi crowd: H2O Plus will host its 15th annual warehouse sale this Saturday, June 8, from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The ocean-friendly brand will be discounting its sea-derived skincare, spa, hair care, gift sets and accessories by up to 80% off. The sale action will take place at its west loop HQ –845 W. Madison. The sale is open to all and numbered entry tickets are issued upon arrival.  Also, Saturday happens to be World Oceans Day. To celebrate, the brand will be donating 10% of net sales from its ocean-inspired Restore Our Water Planet Shower Gel to to EarthEcho International. While this item won’t be available at the warehouse sale, it’s online now for $10.